Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Operation Seek and Destroy Clutter

I figured out that my muse might be hiding in my so overly neglected studio so I decided to clean, REALLY CLEAN: labeling, sorting (for beaders that can be a nightmare), trashing, etc.  I'm starting to feel the urge to create creep up.  Also, I got two new clay books that I ordered through Amazon: Julie Picarello's PATTERNS IN CLAY and Jessica and Susan Partain's POLYMER CLAY COOKBOOK about minature food charms.  They are both very well written and I can't wait to try the endless techniques within each. 

I will post before and afters of the Seek and Destroy once I'm finished.  I have about 6-10 hours work left to really be up and running (I've already put in 15 hours).  Can't wait....


Sunday, June 19, 2011


My dad, Kenneth Freeman, was from Tahoka, Texas and couldn't wait to get out.  He graduated from high school at 16, went to Texas Tech for a semester (while painting cars for money) to major in law.  He still wanted to get further than Lubbock (30 miles from Tahoka) so he joined the Army.  He was blind in one eye and had to memorize the eye chart to pass the physical, but he got in.

I'm gonna brag on him a lot, so bear with me.  He did so well on all his aptitude tests that they sent him to officer candidate school.  He broke his arm the last week and couldn't finish.  He decided not to go back, but continued to progress up the Army food chain.  He married my Mom in Sept '52 and went off to France soon after (post war stuff don't you know). She was 4 years older and had two kids. They had me in July '53.  We all went over to France in December '53 where he was busy helping to fight the early cold war.

We came back to the States in '55 and settled in Norfolk VA where he kept on moving along.  I got sick and needed a dryer climate, so he put in for El Paso and White Sands.  He was in at the beginning of missile program and soon found a way to be an officer without Officer Candidate School and became a CWO2 (skipped over CWO don't you know).  Missiles took us to Michigan and then there was a slide.  The top secret issues my dad had to deal with did not mesh well with his share all, gregarious soul and he started binge drinking.  He was the happiest drunk I've ever met, and he always made it to work (functional alcholism??).

The Army saw fit to let him finish his 21 years on Okinawa where he was a middle officer overseeing Post Engineers.  He brought the first country fair to Okinawa which was a huge success, including appearances by John Wayne and Fess Parker.  He secured us the best house on the island.  My dad was a bit of hustler.

He loved El Paso and as soon as he retired he wanted to come back to El Paso.  He made a deal with my mom, one year to find a good job or we were moving to Chattanooga (her home).  Two days before the year, he found a job as an insurance adjuster, so we stayed.

What did I love best about my Dad: working with him upholstering found furniture; working with him on cars (yes I can change my own oil, windshield wipers and tires, Thanks, Dad); him helping me with my math homework (a gene not transferred from him to me); he taught me how to find stuff, call and ask about parts, etc.  I loved sitting with him on the porch when he would play his guitar and we would sing folk songs and country tunes.  I love that I look exactly like my Dad, no Maury Povich needed.  I loved that he taught me how to carry out practical jokes without malice. He was a purposeful disciplinarian, always with an explanation, no screaming or yelling or hitting.

My Dad died at 42 in Nov '72.  I was 19 and there is not a day goes by that I don't miss him.  I would love to have him around now so he could see my success.

So Dad, I love you and miss you.  God please take good care of him until we can sit on the porch of heaven together.  Thank you.

Monday, June 6, 2011


The last few weeks have had me begging for something creative but without the motivation to act.  I've known for a month or two that I wanted to take an art related class of some kind this summer to get my mind away from state assessments and special ed paperwork, school in general.  I NEED to feed MY soul. 

In addition, I did not want to travel outside of El Paso.  I have taken a trip somewhere job related during my birthday week the last five years and I have had enough.   I HATE to travel.  Seriously, left up to me, I would be just like that ancient dead man they found in a cave in England a few years ago who had relatives 10 miles away, only I would not have made it 10 miles!!  I was an Army brat raised, not by wolves (although the jury is still officially out on the wolf issue), but by extroverted, nomad parents who loved moving, making new friends, etc, etc, etc.  While the experiences and places I have been are priceless, I never had a hometown and longed for one. Also, being a shy, extreme introvert (can we say recessive gene) it took me FOREVER to make new friends. When my dad retired in 1968 to his love of El Paso, so did I at the ripe old age of 15.  That was it, I wasn't moving anywhere else, EVER.

I digress, back to the need for an art infusion, I couldn't find any classes that were here in El Paso and I absolutely refuse to leave this summer, so I mottled together my own "art" course with free projects found at Interweave Press and YouTube.I downloaded mixed media tutorials, beading tutorials, videos on wirewrapping are sitting in my wait list on YouTube.   I really want to barely leave my house this summer, so the computer was a logical source.  I'm also looking at some DVD's and ebooks from Interweave, not free, but hey, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less than the cost of a plane ticket, gas and my sanity. For instance check out this short little teaser video from Interweave, after two minutes, my mind was racing with possibilities. short inspiration packed video    Brilliant! 

And Interweave Press store  tons of free projects 

YOUTUBE ->;The Crafts Channel (just an example of what is on YouTube.  I'm not going to paint "wellies" but so fun to watch and I feel like I'm in a British art class with a couple of whacky, crafty English birds.

I hope I have inspired someone to take a step to something.  When asked lately, always a question when educators are headed to vacation time, others regale me with their planned itineraries and I simply say, "I'm doing as little as possible with a maximum of fun-ness!"  They recoil in shock and awe, "You mean you aren't GOING ANYWHERE????????"   "Nope," I say, "and you can't make me! (insert raspberry sound here)."  I cannot tell you how content I feel.....

I will update my progress on said art endeavor and hope everyone is doing just what they want with their precious vacation time!!!  A little or a lot, your choice.